President Radev: Bulgarian community in Albania Is an Important Bridge for Strengthening Ties between the Two Friendly Nations

2023-11-13 14:35:00

Head of State honours Albania's Ambassador to Bulgaria with the Order of the Madara Horseman, First Degree

The Bulgarian community in Albania is an important bridge for strengthening the meaningful ties between the two friendly nations. This is what President Rumen Radev said when he honoured Albania's Ambassador to Bulgaria, Donika Hoxha, with the Order of the Madara Horseman, First Class, for the diplomat's outstanding services to the development of bilateral relations.

In his speech at the ceremony, which took place in Sofia, the Head of State highlighted Ambassador Hoxha's consistent efforts for the development and deepening of the Bulgarian-Albanian relations based on mutual trust, understanding and friendship. Radev highlighted the upward development and maintenance of positive dynamics in the political dialogue between the two countries at the highest level, noting the very fruitful meetings with Albanian President Bajram Begay and Prime Minister Edi Rama during his visit to Albania last year, as well as during the recent visit of Vice President Iliana Iotova.

The Head of State highlighted Ambassador Hoxha's contribution to the upward development of the bilateral trade, which in the period 2018-2022 has been growing steadily and almost doubled. He noted the successful cooperation with the Albanian side for the construction of the strategic Corridor 8, which, in his words, is becoming even more necessary not only for the economic development of the region, but also for our security in the conditions of wars and crises.

The Head of State highlighted Ambassador Hoxha's efforts to intensify cooperation in the cultural sphere, including in the context of the 110th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Albania and the 30th anniversary of the signing of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which we are celebrating in 2023. The friendly ties between the two countries are based on the centuries-old cultural and historical proximity, as well as on the presence of a large Bulgarian community in Albania, President Radev pointed out. The Head of State expressed hope that the government and all institutions in Albania will continue to ensure a favourable environment for the Bulgarian community to preserve its history, language, culture and traditions. As an example of the centuries-old historical ties, President Radev pointed to the village of Mandritsa in Bulgaria, which was founded by Albanians in the 17th century and to this day, some of its residents speak Albanian.

In his speech, the Head of State also noted the expansion and deepening of bilateral relations in the area of defence and the strengthening of security in the region, especially in the last five years since Albania joined NATO. The participation of an Albanian contingent within the Multinational Battle Group in this country is a testimony to this. President Radev also highlighted the significant progress Albania is making on its path towards the European Union, invariably relying on Bulgaria's support. I believe that with our common vision for the region and our shared European values, we, from both sides of the Western Balkans, will continue to contribute to strengthening regional security and stability, Rumen Radev said.

Ambassador Hoxha expressed gratitude for the honour and the high state award she received. Albania and Bulgaria are today more than ever loyal partners, she said, also underlining the intensive development and deepening of economic relations between the two countries. In her words, the Bulgarian minority in Albania is an extremely strong bridge that strengthens the historical ties and friendly relations between Bulgaria and Albania. The diplomat expressed confidence that Bulgaria would continue to provide its support for Albania's European integration.



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